There is no doubt that the number of seniors at risk of falling is staggering. One in three elderly individuals are subject to a fall of some degree annually. These falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, especially hip fractures, so how can you care for your loved ones? With these simple alterations you can prevent fall risks for seniors around the home.
- Clear Pathways
- It can be easy to trip over a loose object or wire when it’s in your path, and this can become very dangerous for seniors living alone. Unattended, your loved one can find it difficult to get help if they fall. It is important that you make sure that the floor they are walking on is stable and secure. Rugs and loose objects on the floor are an easy fix, by placing an adhesive backing onto rugs and carpeting you can prevent rugs from slipping. It is also important to ensure that all wires are placed next to walls, so the risk of tripping is eliminated.
- Good Lighting
- This is another important factor in preventing a fall risk in the home. Proper lighting helps guide individuals and makes any loose objects visible. By installing light fixtures in many places around the home, especially in bedrooms, at the top and bottom of stairs and in bathrooms, it becomes a lot easier for your senior to move around their home safely.
- Proper Shelving Height
- Trying to grab objects that are out of reach can be a key contributor to a potential fall. By having step stools readily available throughout the home, installing shelves at an attainable level, and making sure that most items around the home can be reached easily, you can help ensure the safety of your senior.
- A bathroom is potentially a very hazardous area, however with the additions of a few non-slip mats, both within the shower area and next to the shower, you can eliminate some of the fear out of showering for your loved one. An additional tip, install grab bars within the shower and beside the toilet to provide stability.
- Exercise can be seen as a potential dangerous activity to a senior, however it is very important and should be encouraged. By exercising regularly, seniors can significantly lessen the risk of falling. Not only does it improve overall well-being and health but it directly targets balance and coordination.
- The first step would be to have phones and emergency numbers placed in multiple areas of the home to ensure that if your senior has fallen, they could call for help easily. Another option is to purchase an alarm device that can be strapped to the wrist, or is a necklace style pendant’s that can be worn by your loved one, to ensure in the event of a fall they can quickly contact a doctor or paramedic that can attend to them. However, these devices aren’t always fail safe, many times after a fall an individual may become disoriented or may be injured making it impossible for to use the device. If falls are becoming a regular event, it’s likely now time to have a caregiver either in the home or make the move to a care facility.